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Tactical Planning Exercise # 5: Gweru Airfield Raid

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This topic contains 20 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of greekman greekman 2 months ago.

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  • #32140
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Introduction:

    This is how I want these problems to run:

    1) A tactical mission is posed. These can come from me or be submitted by members.

    2) These are not *real* missions. They will take place within a fictitious scenario.

    3) Members can post their solutions, for which you will need any relevant maps and a description of your scheme of maneuver. I snip out of Google maps/earth and annotate using paint or similar.

    4) There is no *right* answer. This is a planning and learning exercise. a TEWT: Tactical Exercise Without Troops.

    5) I advise that you exercise your mental faculties by using a planning process. I recommend the Combat Estimate planning tool as given in ‘Contact.’

    6) In order for readers to be able to plan, scenarios will require:

    • Location
    • Situation (scenario)
      • General
      • Enemy Forces
      • Friendly Forces
      • (Civil Considerations)
    • Mission
      • Specified Tasks
    • Commander’s intent and desired end state.
    • Any constraints including rules of engagement.

    8) When planning, as a general rule, you are looking for:

    • Mission Analysis:
      • What to achieve and the desired end state.
      • Main effort
    • Tasks:
      • Specified
      • Implied
    • Factors, leading to “So What?’ analysis, leading to:
      • Considerations (such as balance of enemy/friendly forces, enemy/ground considerations etc.)
      • Tasks
      • Constraints
    • Your list of specified and implied tasks will lead to:
    • 3 courses of action.
    • Choose 1 = the plan.

    It does help to stick to some good solid  principles. The principles of attack are as follows:

    • Seek surprise.
    • Maintain security.
    • Seize key terrain or targets vital to influencing perceptions.
    • Achieve superiority of fires and other effects.
    • Exploit maneuver.
    • Concentrate the effects of force or the threat of force.
    • Plan to exploit success.
    • Keep it simple.

    _______________________________

    Gweru Airfield

    Courtesy of FormerSapper

    Gweru Airfield

     

    Target Location:  19°26’46.08″S  29°51’23.18″E

    Situation:

    General: After their escape from Washington DC, protagonists from the former Regime Government of FUSA have fled to Zimbabwe. They are currently under protection from the incumbent communist government who is sympathetic to their plight. Working with local and Mozambican rebels you are to plan a raid on this airfield that will eliminate any air force response to FreeFor attempts to bring these criminals back to the USA to face charges of treason, genocide and murder. They will pay for their crimes.

    Enemy Forces: Defense force detachment of 60 Chinese trained conscripts, armed with Chinese made AK-47s, RPDs, FN MAGs, 120mm mortars (the last bit is suspected). Security forces will be wearing Rhodesian camouflage clothing, Russian pattern metal helmets and their badges of rank follow commonwealth patterns (downward facing stripes for NCOs, “pips” (diamond shapes) for officers). In addition to this there are around an additional 150 assorted pilots, support personnel and government officials in the immediate vicinity. It is known in addition that there is a small civilian police detachment near by (19°27’58.61″S  29°46’25.64″E). They have been seen sporting FN FALs and tokarev pistols.

    Aircraft are Chinese MiG 21 clones x 4, Russian made Hind Ds x 5, and various light aircraft.

    (For the purposes of this exercise, you can decide on the specific locations of enemy barracks and similar buildings within the cluster of airport buildings. Local Intel will provide you with those locations i.e. pilot accommodation, guard barracks etc. Annotate these locations on any maps you send in, as well as your attack plan.)

    Friendly Forces:

    You are a team of 4 x FreeFor advisers. You have the following available to you to plan and use to the fullest ability:

    4x Long Wheel Base Land Rovers

    4x DSHK with 500 rounds per gun
    2x 82mm mortar with 10 HE rounds 5 illumination and 1 White Phosphorous (WP) between the 2 mortars

    30x Native soldiers who have basic conscript level training provided by their time in the Zimbabwean Army. They are armed with Chinese AK-47s, tokarev pistols and basic RGD grenades and 1x Chinese Dragunov clone. They are wearing earth tone neutral coloured clothing and no protective equipment to speak of.

    Demolition charges: 8 x shaped charge demolition IEDs on timers, provided by one of the FreeFor advisers.
    You are NOT required to use all of the above
    Mission: Destroy enemy fixed and rotary wing assets at Gweru Airfield in order to prevent their future interdiction in FreeFor operations.

    Tasks:

    1. All fixed wing and rotary aircraft are to be destroyed or disabled.
    2. The elimination of as many support personnel as possible within mission parameters. Particular emphasis on aircraft maintenance crews, flight crews.

    3. Cause any other damage as the situation allows. Particular emphasis on the control tower, fuel lines and troop barracks.

    Intent: Destroy enemy air capability.
    End State: Destruction of all enemy aircraft and significant collateral damage to enemy support personnel and infrastructure at the airfield.
    Constraints: Avoid civilian casualties outside of the airfield perimeter.

    #32269
    Profile photo of Hello Kitty (Craig)
    hellokitty
    Participant

    OK, I’ll take a shot at this. Definitely out of my comfort zone.

    Target Location:  19°26’46.08″S  29°51’23.18″E
    Situation:
    General: After their escape from Washington DC, protagonists from the former Regime Government of FUSA have fled to Zimbabwe. They are currently under protection from the incumbent communist government who is sympathetic to their plight. Working with local and Mozambican rebels you are to plan a raid on this airfield that will eliminate any air force response to FreeFor attempts to bring these criminals back to the USA to face charges of treason, genocide and murder. They will pay for their crimes.
    Enemy Forces: Defense force detachment of 60 Chinese trained conscripts, armed with Chinese made AK-47s, RPDs, FN MAGs, 120mm mortars (the last bit is suspected). Security forces will be wearing Rhodesian camouflage clothing, Russian pattern metal helmets and their badges of rank follow commonwealth patterns (downward facing stripes for NCOs, “pips” (diamond shapes) for officers). In addition to this there are around an additional 150 assorted pilots, support personnel and government officials in the immediate vicinity. It is known in addition that there is a small civilian police detachment near by (19°27’58.61″S  29°46’25.64″E). They have been seen sporting FN FALs and tokarev pistols.
    Aircraft are Chinese MiG 21 clones x 4, Russian made Hind Ds x 5, and various light aircraft.
    Friendly Forces:
    Alpha teams 1 & 2
    Bravo teams 1 & 2 & 3
    Charlie teams 1 & 2
    Delta team 1

    Mission: Destroy enemy fixed and rotary wing assets at Gweru Airfield in order to prevent their future interdiction in FreeFor operations.

    Tasks:
    1. All fixed wing and rotary aircraft are to be destroyed or disabled.

    2. The elimination of as many support personnel as possible within mission parameters. Particular emphasis on aircraft maintenance crews, flight crews.
    3. Cause any other damage as the situation allows. Particular emphasis on the control tower, fuel lines and troop barracks.

    Execution:
    1. Intent: destroy enemy air capability.

    2.Concept of Operation: Alpha teams will assault Hangars 1 & 2 and place IED delayed charges on aircraft. Bravo teams will assault Barracks and eliminate Flight crews and maintenance crews. Charlie teams vehicle mounted (4) with DSHK will provide SBF for assault. Delta team will secure ORP and provide SBF using Mortars.

    3. Plan: All teams will move into ORP visa convoy. At 2100, Alph and Bravo teams will begin foot movement using staggered column to C-FUP. C-FUP will be the RP for link up of Alpha/Bravo and Charlie when withdrawing. Route will handrail houses to the west being careful to avoid detection. Alpha/Bravo will call by radio arrival at C-FUP. Alpha/Bravo will then move to A/B-FUP skirting the NW edge of airport property using the tree line on west side to screen movement from airport. Alpha/Bravo will radio arrival at A/B-FUP.

    Delta 1 will secure ORP and set mortars. D1 will wait for call for fire.
    When Alpha/Bravo radio arrival at A/B-FUP or no later than 0100, Charlie will move to C-FUP using trails and roads north of airport. Charlie will radio arrival.

    Charlie will move to SBF positions north of airport no later than 0130. Positions will be at the V of tree line west of Control Tower. Charlie will commence firing once in position. Truck B of C1 will engage and destroy the Control Tower. Truck A of C1 and C2 will engage the hangars. Limit of fire will be, facing south, Hangar 1 to the west and the easternmost hangar. Be aware friendlies are to the west of Hangar 1 and civilians to the east of easternmost hangar.

    Once Charlie commences fire, Alpha and Bravo will move to LOD. Alpha LOD will be tree line to west of Hangar 1 & 2. Bravo 1 & 2 LOD are buildings to West of Barracks. B3 will move to cover flank of Bravo 1 & 2.

    When Alpha Leader determines Charlie fire has suppressed Hangar 1&2, he will call for Charlie to shift fire to the east. (Red flare is back up). Charlie will shift fire to the 3 easternmost hangars.

    Alpha and Bravo will begin their assaults when fire has shifted. Alpha will use F&M to clear Hangars 1 & 2. Once hangars are cleared, A2 will set up over watch position in or around Hangar 2. (Note Fuel dump area to East of Hangar 2. This is a target of opportunity). A1 will place delayed IED charges on aircraft. Detonation will be delayed 1 hour. Once charges are set, Alpha will withdraw to A/B-FUP.

    Bravo 1 & 2 assault Barracks using F&M. B3 is flank security. Bravo 1 & 2 will destroy barracks by fire. If practical, clear the barracks and eliminate all crews. Once assault is complete, Bravo will withdraw to A/B-FUP.

    When BOTH Alpha and Bravo teams are in A/B-FUP, arrival of both teams will be radioed to Charlie and Delta. (Green Flare is back up). Charlie will shift fire back onto Hangars 1 & 2.

    Alpha and Bravo will move to C-FUP. Alpha and Bravo will radio arrival at C-FUP. Charlie will withdraw to C-FUP. Delta will then begin dropping HE and WP onto Hangars 1 & 2 and aircraft to cover withdrawal. And to discourage tampering with charges.

    Charlie will link up with Alpha and Bravo at C-FUP. Link up Password is OMAHA. Alpha and Bravo will mount up with Charlie and move to ORP. Once at ORP all elements will extract out of area.

    Administration: Full ammo load out per man. Water and food for 2 days.
    Alpha teams-8 IED charges and radio.
    Bravo teams- radio
    Charlie teams- 4 trucks with DSHK mounted full ammo load out. Radio.
    Delta team- 82 mm mortars and ammo. Radio.

    Command and Control- Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta leaders have radios and Red and Green flares.

    Note: on one photo I have a white wiggle line, please disregard. Could not figure out how to erase.

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.

    CTT 1502, NODF 1502, CP 1503, RC 002- Rifleman, FoF x 2, Run and Gun, RS/CTT, CLC, CQBC, Heat 1

    Craig S.

    #32281
    Profile photo of Andrew
    Andrew
    Participant

    I dunno how to add notations on the Google Map. I have no real disagreement with what Hellokitty posted. But, that being said, the first thing I would need would be some idea of what the OPFOR patrolling schedule is, in what strength, and where? Is there a permanent guard at the control tower? Is the fueling storage guarded 24/7, the control tower?

    I would be VERY interested in what is happening at what looks like an ammo dump in the area of runway 31R. Without knowing guard/patrol routines I would be tempted to start my attack their, knowing reinforcements would come from the barracks. I would have at least one machine gun, (Not sure that I wouldn’t dismount it from the truck for this group, leave the truck outside the perimeter for the withdrawal) and support team setup in the woods/brush where the perimeter road, that parallels the fence along the highway, crosses the runway. That would be the start, getting the defenders out into the open. Once the reaction force was underway, and defenders were coming to the flightline, I would have forces blocking the flight line from the defenders, hopefully pinning them.

    Mortars would probably be used on the control tower, and whatever explosives were available would be used at the fuel storage depot first and as a way to destroy whatever was in those bunkers if anything.

    Mortars on the control tower would initiate the attack, followed almost simultaneously with the attack on the bunkers. A second Landrover would be used to cut/go through the fence where the perimeter road comes along the fence from the aprons, to support the crews assaulting the aircraft. I would consider having the third Landrover go through the same cut as number two did and react to where needed.

    JMO.

    Main ground assault would breach the perimeter between the two hangers and the fuel storage.

    #32285
    Profile photo of Hello Kitty (Craig)
    hellokitty
    Participant

    I made some assumptions since Max gave us leeway based on Local intel. So I went with barracks south of airfield and aircraft close to Hangars 1 & 2. What i noticed in doing this is the force available is very lean. Really need more teams and vehicles. I would have liked to have more teams at SBF positions to north for security. I would have liked to have had cut offs groups too. An ambush at 3 way intersection south of airport would have been nice for any squirters or QRF from police station. One thing worried me is the number of buildigs in airport center. I did not want to get bogged down clearing buildings in there. Really with forces available i think this was a difficult mission to pull off.

    CTT 1502, NODF 1502, CP 1503, RC 002- Rifleman, FoF x 2, Run and Gun, RS/CTT, CLC, CQBC, Heat 1

    Craig S.

    #32288
    Profile photo of Andrew
    Andrew
    Participant

    Assuming, OPFOR would be housed in one or two barracks, with air crews and support possibly in another, I would have ground assault team, which came in under the wire at the angle between the two hangers and fuel depot, each have at least one, if not two, molotov cocktails, or other incindiary devices, and possibly initiate the attack, with fire bombing their quarters. Fire would give the local gendarmes something else to do and facilitate my guys being able to reduce the reaction force as well as air crews and support.

    I gave no attack time, but it would probably be initiated 3/4s of the way through a watch period. If the watch started at 0000, then the attack would commence at 0300.

    I would still mortar the control tower from outside the perimeter and would still attack those bunkers and have an ambush set up for a reaction force.

    Again, jmo, from someone who knows next to zip about land warfare.

    #32297
    Profile photo of Hello Kitty (Craig)
    hellokitty
    Participant

    @Andrew
    You and me both.

    CTT 1502, NODF 1502, CP 1503, RC 002- Rifleman, FoF x 2, Run and Gun, RS/CTT, CLC, CQBC, Heat 1

    Craig S.

    #32309
    Profile photo of Andrew
    Andrew
    Participant

    ;-) :good:

    #62463
    Profile photo of greekman
    greekman
    Participant

    Hi guys! new member here. And wanted to ask.
    Is it too late (2 years latter) to post my “solution”?

    But it will take me a while as I travel for work…

    #62486
    Profile photo of tango
    tango
    Participant

    Hi guys! new member here. And wanted to ask.
    Is it too late (2 years latter) to post my “solution”?

    But it will take me a while as I travel for work…

    Never too late. Post it up man!

    Baptême du feu
    L'appel du vide

    #62634
    Profile photo of greekman
    greekman
    Participant

    OK… I am on my phone so I will be brief. I may produce diagrams tomorrow. And I have not read past the first three older answers in the blog.

    Here goes…
    One advisor with a small team and demo charges, infiltrate on foot from the Northwest. They place the charges on the big fuel tank which is between the barracks and the maintenance hangars. Then they move south shadowing the airfields fence which is planted with trees. This will take them just at the west of the pilots house, so they hammer the exiting aircrews at an 90 degree angle from the main attack.

    They exfill going thru the main road fence, to be picked up by the Dshk Jeep that is providing security to the West.

    #62635
    Profile photo of greekman
    greekman
    Participant

    Control tower team with demo charges infill through the airfields East corner, around the open field. Upon detonation and clearing they excfill to the southeast corner where another Jeep is providing eastward security.

    All teams infiltrate by the main road on the jeeps, east to west. On excfill they connect in front of the airfield gate, and take the the side dirt road that leads to the east a bit further from the houses at the east of the airfield. I am assuming that reaction forces will be taking the main road.

    #62638
    Profile photo of greekman
    greekman
    Participant

    Mortar team will infill by two jeeps right at the airfields South side, by the main road. Halfway there, there is is a small gate and two buildings that can provide cover and concealment. They will target the airframes and if possible ble the fuel Depot. Then move towards the main force to be picked up either on the gate, or they will cross the ditch on foot to connect on the side road.

    Just these for the moment, I will be posting the kill teams plan soon.

    #62716
    Profile photo of greekman
    greekman
    Participant

    so… here is the larger outlook of the operation.

    Attachments:
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    #62718
    Profile photo of greekman
    greekman
    Participant

    Edited to add:

    So…
    No1
    Is the location of the airport fuel. Google shows the round thing being a tank or silo. Ergo…
    The team will place demo charges on the timer then proceed to take place a point no2

    No2.
    Provides cover and a firing line for this team to shoot at the exiting, surprised aircrew. I am assuming that the cross shaped building-being the best of- is their quarters.
    No 3.
    Then the team will move towards the south fence, right at those two trees that are providing cover for the DSHk HMG which guards the west approach to the airfield
    Also, I am assuming that all teams are equipped with bolt cutters to breach the fence.

    Attachments:
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    #62766
    Profile photo of greekman
    greekman
    Participant

    Boy, what have I got for you now!

    No3.
    Do you see that the fence is missing on point 3?
    This is right at the back of what seems to be the gate guard/checkpoint.
    It also seems that the real airport gate is not on the edge of the road, but some yards inward.
    So an advisor and some footsoldiers make a Commando silent attack to take the gate guards out!
    Or they can place a charge to blow their back wall out!
    This can also mark the attack initiation.

    No6.
    I would place the Dragunov over there. The building provides cover. If they are to make a stealth insertion this can be done by another point of the fence that appears to provide access.

    No5.
    I they are to bring a Jeep with a DSHk MG, they will have to place it inwards of the gate to have a sufficient angle of fire to cover both buildings, almost up to the roundabout.

    #62767
    Profile photo of greekman
    greekman
    Participant

    Attack Timeline.
    1.
    A timed charge blows up the entrance guard post.
    2.
    Jeeps rush at points 3&5 and open fire.
    Easrward covering Jeep takes position.
    Mortars start firing.
    The tower and fuel tanks are blown on a very short timed charge.
    3.
    All kill teams take action.

    Some details.
    1. Recon is need on the main road, whether their is night traffic.
    Flight schedules should also be checked, Gweru is the country’s largest airport.
    If need be, main force infill can be done by the parallel dirt road which also provides tree concealment around the main gate area.
    2. Attack time should be at 3:00. Guards on two hour rotation find the 2:00-4:00 shift the hardest of, I know!
    3. Did anyone Google Gweru? The country’s military academy is also there, right next to the police building. That will up responding opfor.

    Well that is all for now…

    #62815
    Profile photo of tango
    tango
    Participant

    @greekman do you mind if I provide some feedback?

    Baptême du feu
    L'appel du vide

    #62816
    Profile photo of greekman
    greekman
    Participant

    Not at all. In fact I am expecting it.
    BTW my military knowledge is limited to conscription service as an auxiliary in an tank unit. So this is a layman,s perspective. But I guess that already shows…

    Go ahead!

    #62817
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    As a friendly reminder when providing feedback, keep it constructive!

    It’s a learning process and if I gathered 10 experts to take a stab at this I could vary well end up with 10 different plans. ;-)

    I would rather die with my ideals intact, than be victorious by becoming all that I oppose!

    This why I can never be truly defeated!

    #62825
    Profile photo of tango
    tango
    Participant

    @greekman just a couple things right now.
    1) Try explaining your plan in timeline form. Right now it’s hard to digest what is going on where and when.
    2) How will your separate elements communicate and coordinate?
    3) How does your plan accomplish the Mission of destroying the aircraft?

    Baptême du feu
    L'appel du vide

    #62842
    Profile photo of greekman
    greekman
    Participant

    1)
    I have provided a rough outline in post #62767 above. I will try to provide a detailed one when I find the time.
    But…
    2)
    All elements will commance fire upon blowing the gate guards building. Tower and fuel teams will just put the charges on a short timer when they hear gunfire, then split.
    Commancing is easy this way. The hard part is coordinating exfill. Fuel, Mortar and tower teams should be at the assigned jeeps at their assigned jeeps by then.

    3) Mortars will hit the airframes. After all AFAIK they are area weapons and cannot be used for point targets like the tower and fuel tank.
    Also may plan allows for two Dshk MGs at the gate, so there is the ability to use one for airframe strafing. I have already checked ranges and lines of fire and both weapons are usable from where I have placed them.

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